Path dimensions

My suggestions and comments do not wholly take into account the guidelines and requirements for such paths, which are of course vital for any detailed planning.
The following extracts are from:        The Department of Transport’s Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Volume 6 Road Geometry, Section 3 Highway Features; Part 5 TA 90/05, The Geometric Design of Pedestrian, Cycle and Equestrian Routes.


Pedestrian-Only Routes

Table 7.1 provides values for the surfaced widths of unbounded pedestrian routes. A route is considered unbounded when it is not adjacent to a physical barrier such as a wall or fence at the edge of the route. Where it is not practicable to provide widths of 2.0m for the full length of a route, widths of 1.3m may be provided over short distances.

Table 7.1 – Surfaced Widths of Pedestrian-Only Routes:

Preferred Width 2.6m
Acceptable Minimum 2.0m


 Off-Carriageway Cycle Routes

Table 7.2 provides values for the surfaced widths of unbounded cycle-only routes.

Table 7.2 – Surfaced Widths of Cycle-Only Routes:

Preferred Width 3.0m
Acceptable Minimum 2.0m  


Shared and Adjacent Use Routes for NMUs (NMU – Non Motorised User)

Shared use facilities should generally be restricted to where flows of either cyclists or pedestrians are low, and hence where the potential for conflict is low. Unsegregated shared facilities have operated satisfactorily down to 2.0m wide with combined pedestrian and cycle use of up to 200 per hour. However, the preferred minimum width for an unsegregated facility is 3.0m.

The potential for conflict between users increases where flows of more than one group are high. In this case it is normally necessary to have some form of segregation along the route. Route segregation should also be considered if disabled people, people with pushchairs or other vulnerable users are likely to make frequent use of the facility. When determining the method of segregation, consideration should be given to the issues above and site-specific factors. For more detailed information refer to draft LTN 2/04.

The preferred separation between different types of NMU is 1.0m, with an acceptable separation of 0.5m. Greater verge widths facilitate maintenance. Verges adjacent to field boundaries and existing hedgerows should be a minimum of 0.5m wide to allow hedges to overhang the route without interfering with its use.

If the separation described above cannot be provided, segregation may be achieved by use of a post and single rail fence, railings, kerbs or delineator strips. Guardrails should only be used in short lengths, because over any appreciable distance the risk of cycle handlebars and pedals colliding with them is increased. Fences and guardrails can also trap users on the ‘wrong’ side. The principles are set out in more detail in draft LTN 2/04 and ‘Inclusive Mobility’ (DfT, 2002).

Table 7.3 provides values for the surfaced widths of pedestrian/cycle routes segregated by line.

Table 7.3 – Surfaced Widths of Unbounded Pedestrian/Cycle Routes Segregated by Line:

Preferred Minimum 5.0m (3.0m cycle route, 2.0m pedestrian route)
Acceptable Minimum 3.0m (1.5m cycle route, 1.5m pedestrian route)